by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
A careful reading through the life of the Apostle Paul will yield insight concerning those who surrounded him. In this brief devotion, I want to focus on two of Paul's friends -- Luke and Demas.
Luke was a true and faithful friend to Paul, staying with and supporting him to the very end of his life, even through the worst adversities (2 Timothy 4:11). Then, there was another friend, whose name was Demas, about whom Paul wrote positively at first, (Col. 4:14; Philemon 1:24) but who did not remain faithful to the end. Paul records that Demas forsook him because he "loved this present world." (2 Timothy 4:10)
As the end of the age approaches, we also will be tested as to where our love lies; with the Father, or with the world. The apostle John writes, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15) I do not believe that Demas lost his salvation, but he did lose his capacity to sense and express the love of the Father, which damaged his testimony, his spiritual relationships, and undoubtedly cost him heavenly rewards. What kind of friend will we be to God? Will we be faithful, or will we allow the love of this world to quench our fire, and compromise our relationships?
My encouragement to you is to be faithful until the end. Don't forget that Yeshua gave a warning to end-time saints, saying, "because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall grow cold." Become a friend like Luke, and learn from the life of Demas -- do not allow love for the world to quench your love for God. Don't forget, a true friend loves...at all times!